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Inspired by one of my favorite blogs Brocante Home (who was in turn inspired by a feature in Harper’s Bazaar written by Diana Vreeland), Why Don’t You is a week’s worth of ideas for adding a little something special to your life.
Pick and choose what sparks your interest and fits into your schedule. Or use these as inspiration for coming up with your own ideas.
Why Don’t You Week of June 15 – Simple Moments for Lovely Days
We’re halfway through the year. Time to make new resolutions!
Or maybe to get back on track with your new year’s resolutions. This is a great time to make some fresh new goals – and well, 2020 has been very different than any of us ever expected!
So, maybe it’s time to reevaluate what we want to do given all that’s happening around us. I know that some of the things I’ve been doing are to spend some time learning more about the Black Lives Matter movement, plan out a new backyard oasis (since we’re not going to be able to travel this year), and to take up crocheting again (it’s a great way to relax and forget about the stress of the day!).
Learn a new language.
Or at least, a few key phrases for your next trip. Yes, it might be a while before we can safely travel afar again, but there’s no time like the present to start dreaming and preparing.
What will it be for you? I’ve already got some Russian and French so next up is Italian and German. Challenge your whole family to work on this together – you can even eat some regional foods and learn some games or crafts related to the country.
When I was taking Russian in university, we’d have a special meal at least once a quarter where we would communicate only in Russian. Of course, we didn’t know every term we needed, so we often had to get really creative in describing the food we wanted to eat! This could be a fun way to spend a dinner with your family once you’ve got a few phrases under your belts.
June 19th is National Butterfly Day!
One of the options I would usually suggest here is checking out your local butterfly conservatory – there is something quite magical about all those butterflies flying around you. But, ours is still closed due to Covid-19, so how about working on your own butterfly retreat in your backyard?
Plant butterfly attracting flowers in your garden. Queen Anne’s Lace, sunflowers, and snapdragons are 3 you can start with. Do a quick Google search to find some other options.
You can also add a butterfly house or two to your yard or create a butterfly “resting place”. They like moisture and smooth rocks. A shallow pan (or you can use a bird bath) works well. Add some sand and water with some smooth rocks for them to land on.
Celebrate the first day of summer!
Summer begins on June 20, 2020. It’s the longest day of the year and a perfect time to get outside for some sun and fun. How about making shadow art? One person can stand so that their shadow is cast onto the sidewalk or driveway while another traces around it.
You can make them as temporary chalk art or use long rolls of butcher paper to create something that will last longer. Use chalk, markers, or crayons to add details to the shadow outlines and create a representation of your whole family.
Take a mental health break.
Y’all seriously. 2020 has been A LOT. It’s not selfish to take some time away from social media and from others and just spend a day doing “nothing”. Whether that nothing is reading a book, having a movie marathon, or napping in the backyard hammock, it’s sure to do you a world of good.
I saw a friend on Twitter say that she had taken a day to “forget about being productive”. While I knew what she meant, I’m here to say that giving yourself a mental health break IS a step in productivity. We all need to rest and recharge before going back to work.
Make your bed for summer.
Do you change out your bedding seasonally? I do! Even though we keep our home pretty cool all year long, I still find that I want my bed to be made with more cotton type bedding in the summer and more flannel and fleece in the winter. It just “feels” right.
This is a good idea too to clean your mattress pad and the mattress itself. I start running everything through the washer and getting it all freshened up. While that’s happening, I let my mattress air out for a bit.
Then, I dust it with some plain cornstarch (it’s great for absorbing sweat and odors). Leave it for a few hours, Brush away, using your vacuum to get rid of the excess if needed.
Pro Tip: On a hot, sweaty night, a dusting of cornstarch over your bottom sheet can make your bed feel far more comfortable. This is a trick they used when I was in the hospital during a heatwave (and no a/c!). They would add a dusting of cornstarch over our sheets and then give us a cornstarch back rub at bedtime. It felt SO soothing.
Set up a summertime basket.
I like to keep a basket near the back door filled with some items that we often use during the summer. A few pashminas or wraps to grab when sitting out back on a cool summer evening are so handy. I like to add some pairs of flip flops too so there’s always a pair available for running out to the backyard on the spur of a moment.
You can add in the sunscreen, sunglasses, summer hats, and other items you often reach for when heading outside. We used to have a second one when my daughter was little that held things like beach balls, Frisbees, kites, bubbles, and other outdoor activities for kids.